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Saturday, January 31, 2015, Magh 18, 1421, Robi-Us-Sani 9, 1436 Hijr


Sri Lankan new govt presents populist budget
Published : Saturday, 31 January, 2015,  Time : 12:00 AM,  View Count : 50

COLOMBO, Jan 30: Sri Lanka's new government presented a populist budget here yesterday, slashing prices of food items but also seeking to increase revenue, an official said.
Sri Lanka's new government, which was appointed earlier this month, presented an interim-budget that will be in effect till June.
This is in line with the new coalition government's 100-day plan that seeks to implement constitutional changes that include trimming executive powers and establish an independent commission ahead of a parliament election likely in late April.
The new government headed by Prime Minister Ranil Wickremesinghe reduced budget deficit to 4.4 per cent from 4.6 per cent outlined in the last budget of the previous government headed by President Mahinda Rajapaksa.
Public investment was also reduced from 6.2 per cent to 4.6 per cent amid attempts to reduce the country's debt burden.
The latest round of calculations put debt at 88.9 per cent of gross domestic product (GDP) rather than the 74.4 per cent tagged previously.
The budget also slashed prices of 13 essential items including cement, gas and milk powder to provide "relief" to consumers. A 15 per cent decrease in taxes for small vehicles and cement was also featured along with salary and pension hikes for about 1.3 million public workers.    ?Xinhua










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